Minnesota House Passes Marriage Equality in 75-59 Vote!


Minnesota's House has approved marriage equality after three hours of debate in a vote of 75-59!

The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Minnesota is poised to be the FIRST midwestern legislature to approve
marriage equality! Iowa's marriage equality law was ushered in by the
state Supreme Court.

It's rather an insane turn of events for a state which just six months ago was waging a furious (and unsuccessful) campaign to amend the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Though no Republicans had said they were 'yes' votes beforehand, four of them — David FitzSimmons of Albertville, Pat Garofalo of Farmington, Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury and Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie — voted with the Democrats.  Democrats Sawatzky and Fritz voted no.

The Star Tribune reports:

Debate in the House got underway in the early afternoon, as thousands of supporters and opponents gathered outside the chamber. House Democratic leaders and the bill's supporters were confident it would pass. If it passes Monday in the Senate, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton could be sign it into law by early next week and make Minnesota the 12th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage.

"My family knew firsthand that same sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Karen Clark, a Minneapolis Democrat who is gay. "… Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love."

Opponents argued the bill would alter a centuries-old conception of marriage and leave those people opposed for religious reasons tarred as bigots.



  1. Francis #1 says

    It passed with 75 votes, that has to be a lot more than expected. It’s always been expected to pass in the Senate so marriage equality is almost an official reality in Minnesota, yea!

    What amazing speeches we heard today, so heartfelt, so beautiful. Our side was so much more elegant and eloquent. A lot of these Democrats are going to be in tough reelection fights so we need to have their backs as they have had ours.

  2. chris says

    I think I heard four Republicans voted for, one against. In any case, I live here and I am thrilled. When they announced this, I thought it was a bit too soon but I am delighted to have been wrong. (And to think this would never have happened if the idiot then-Republican-controlled legislature had not forced through the misguided hate bill Minnesotans defeated last fall.)

  3. francis says

    “…Opponents argued the bill would alter a centuries-old conception of marriage and leave those people opposed for religious reasons tarred as bigots…”

    “…Ahhh, but ya are Blanche. Ya are!”


    Centuries Old Conceptions?
    Why not Millenium Old Conceptions?

    Which would include biblical polygamy of biblical proportions

    …and which are much, much older ‘Conceptions’.

    Who drew their line?

  4. Francis #1 says

    And to think, had the anti-gay bigots not tried to constitutionally ban equality in the state last fall, this wouldn’t be happening right now. Not only did they lose on the constitutional amendment but they’re going to lose completely on marriage in Minnesota. Unbelievable.

    The progress we’ve made globally, in the US, these last few weeks, months is just amazing to witness. Things are changing right before our eyes.

  5. says

    Great news, and special kudos to the rep’s in districts where their constituents won’t be happy with the results. (The 4 Republicans and the Democrats in conservative areas.) They went out on a limb to do the right thing. The pro-equality speeches were fantastic. Almost there MN–#12. Pressure now on Illinois to be lucky #13.

  6. Keppler says

    Tuned in just long enough to hear Kurt Daudt (R-St Paul) say “Some of my best friends are gay,” just before voting “no”. Why do bigots still think this is a good line?

  7. JONES says

    To all the equality supporters who are facing difficulties in your districts for voting in support of this legislation I want to commend you on your bravery in taking the right stand.

    Remind any detractors you face that you voted in favor of equality in civil rights for all. ‘Marriage’ is the branded issue but ultimately it is about civil rights. For one to be free we must all be free.

  8. JONES says

    Michelle Bachman is also in a gerrymandered district that is supposed to guarantee a ‘R’ elected.

    Dollars to donuts that Marcus will one day be taking advantage of this new law.

  9. Michaelandfred says

    That’s three in a week Maggie. I hope you got that house paid off with all your hate money because you’re gravy train is drying up.

  10. JONES says

    Daudt ….

    My gay friends … this isn’t the time.

    FAIL. Huge Fail.

    Too cowardly to take the right stand. Know what Kurt, I hope the day never comes when equality for your loved ones is in jeopardy and subject to vote.

  11. K-MN says

    @Keppler: No kidding! But a small correction: Kurt Daudt does NOT represent St. Paul. (The city’s legislative delegation is entirely Democratic.) Daudt is from a rural/exurban district north of the Twin Cities. But a great day in Minnesota? You betcha!

  12. Francis #1 says

    Minnesota has been trending blue the last few years. Obama won by 8 percent in the state, Bachmann barely won her seat after dominating throughout the years, Democrats are in control of both chambers now and here we see this marriage equality vote. Also a comprehensive anti-bullying bill passed in the state. Minnesota is a blue state now. Every state that has Democratic control should and will pass marriage equality in the next few years without doubt. It’s become a no-brainer issue for Democrats in all but the most red states, and even there it’s heading that way.

  13. Francis #1 says

    I’m sure that some of the Dems/Repubs on the fence voted yes for political reasons more than anything. Why issue a no vote when you know it’s going to pass anyway. May as well get ahead of the curb and vote yes.

    The fight in Minnesota isn’t over, the Democrats in rural districts are going to be in a tough fight. If you live in Minnesota, fight for them. Stand with them and ensure they hold their seats.

  14. JONES says

    To the one who object on ‘religious beliefs’ and are screaming about being labelled a bigot ….

    If your religious teachings inform you that women are inferior (and you believe them) then you are a misogynist.

    If your religious teachings inform you that those of another race are inferior (and you believe them) then you are a racist.

    If your religious teachings inform you that LGBT are ‘less than’ (and you believe them) then you are a bigot.

    If you challenged your churches views and supported equality for women and all races then you’re freed of those labels.

    If you don’t like being called a bigot then stand up to the religious hierarchy on their bigotry, take a stand against hatred, and vote for equality.

    Stop blaming the church leaders, it’s your church. It doesn’t exist without you.
    Stop blaming the Bible. You choose the parts of the Bible you want to focus on.
    Focus on love.

    It’s just that simple.

  15. Anastasia Beaverhausen says

    @UFFDA: I believe the state crop is butter. Or lime Jello with diced vegetables suspended in it.

    But I could be wrong.

  16. Buster says

    Over the years, the voters in Minnesota have shown themselves to be strong supporters of the left, electing politicians who were strong civil rights advocates like Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Paul Wellstone and Al Franken to represent them. Trash like Bachmann is an aberration.

    It is a state with a long, fine liberal political tradition which it honored in its vote today.

  17. JONES says

    from the StarTribune:

    Republican Reps. voted YES
    Pat Garofalo, of Farmington
    David FitzSimmons, of Albertville
    Jenifer Loon, of Eden Prairie
    Andrea Keifer, of Woodbury

    DFL Reps. voted NO
    Patti Fritz, of Faribault
    Mary Sawatsky, of Willmar

  18. Jeff says

    I watched all afternoon. Amazing. It really was respectful – on both sides. Props of the day go to the guy who told the story about the Rabbi and the exact moment when night became a new day: Answer: When you can look a stranger in the face a call him brother. Well done MN! Well done!

  19. Craig says

    Does anybody know if it can be brought up for a statewide vote if there are enough signatures on a petition to overturn it (like what happened in Washington)?

  20. Craig says

    The one marriage this might effect would be that of Michelle Bachmann, now that Marcus can marry someone he’s sexually attracted to.

  21. Jim Brown says

    This is HUGE. Minnesota is a predominant Mid-Western state. The next larger hurdle is Illinois. If we can get Illinois, we have the heart of the Mid-West. It will be a more difficult fight, but that is the goal. Illinois.

  22. Rexford says

    @ Francis #1

    I think Minnesota has been trending blue since Eugene McCarthy circa 1968. They haven’t gone Republican in the Presidential race since Eisenhower. They didn’t even go for Reagan’s re-election in 1984 or Bush Sr. 1988. Very few states went for Mondale or Dukakis, but Minnesota did.

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